December 11, 2015

Juggling Work and Caregiving

computer user from unsplash

Most people caring for an ill loved one have many other responsibilities. Juggling work and the added needs at home can be exhausting. Here are some tips for striking the right balance.

Inform your employer.

If caregiving responsibilities are making you late to work or causing you to take time off, your employer may mistakenly assume you’re not committed. Have an honest, professional conversation with your boss about your increased responsibilities outside of work. Come prepared with a solution that may help you better balance these roles (see below for ideas).

Adjust your hours.

You may be able to negotiate a more flexible schedule, including:

  • Starting earlier or later.
  • Temporarily reducing the number of hours you work.
  • Working from home.
  • Taking time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act, if applicable.

Your options will vary depending on your workplace, but it’s often possible to adjust your schedule to better suit your caregiving needs.

Establish boundaries.

As much as possible, keep your caregiving separate from your work day, so that you can focus on work. It may be beneficial to explain your situation to coworkers, but avoid overwhelming them with details every day. Save personal calls, including booking appointments, for breaks, and set limits with your loved one.

Seek help.

You can’t do everything yourself. If your loved one requires constant supervision and assistance with everyday tasks, you may look into hiring in-home help or asking family members to lend a hand. Talk to your loved one’s doctor to see if he or she is eligible to receive hospice services—if they are, their hospice team can take over the bulk of responsibilities, allowing you and your loved one to focus on simply spending quality time together.

Learn more about knowing when it’s the right time for hospice here, or call our referral center at 336.621.7575.